supper club soup containers by loralee lewis
Winter Supper Club ~ Our Very First One

The idea for our very first Supper Club came to us soon after we moved into our new house. We moved in to our home on Dec. 23 and still had so much to do to get it like we wanted it. We let our wish to be in by Christmas override the fact that not everything was “complete”. But, all of the essentials were in place…and so we moved in with about 2 months of work left to do. Because we still had so much to finish, we only moved in our necessary furniture and waited to bring in the rest. That meant our house was a little bit empty! 🙂 Empty rooms made me think that it would be a great time to have a party! And so, our Supper Club was born…

supper club winter theme for teens decorated cookies

By this time, it was the beginning of January. My daughter and I decided a winter theme would be appropriate and pretty easy to pull together. We also knew we wanted to serve something warm and that we would not be able to make the food ourselves because our range had not even arrived. 🙂 I tell you that so that you know that I fully believe in not stressing about everything being absolutely perfect before you host parties.

supper club soup containers by loralee lewis

We put a temporary stove in our kitchen until ours came in, and so I ordered 2 types of soup from Zoe’s and platters of sandwiches from Chicken Salad Chick. The soups we chose were Chicken and Orzo and Tomato Basil. For the sandwiches, we chose 3 varieties. I kept the soup warm on the stove, and then we transferred it to the customized containers from Loralee Lewis. We had around 20 girls for Supper Club, and so having paper plates and soup containers worked well for it. Loralee designed dinner plates and dessert plates to coordinate with the soup containers that I requested.

supper club soup containers from loralee lewis

If you look really closely, you can see Loralee’s special touch…notice how she put the words to the song “What a Wonderful World” in a circle on the inside portion of the plate. She thinks of everything. Just for fun, Loralee also included labels for the cups that read, “Just Sippin’ Pretty with my Girls”.

supper club drink cup labels sippin pretty

Next, we decided on how to decorate to make the party feel wintry but welcoming. Because we had not moved our dining room table in yet, I set up folding tables in our vacant dining room. I rented gold Chavari chairs for seating and used my white tablecloths to cover the tables.

supper club table with white balloon garland centerpiece

For table centerpieces, we made white balloon garlands and then added fairy lights through the garland.

supper club tablesetting in white with gold chavari chairs

I loved having the balloon garlands with lights- it gave off just enough pretty light and had a perfect glow to it. You could also add different colored lights for a different effect.

supper club table setting with white balloon garland and lights

We also added balloon garlands around the fireplace and doors. The best part about the decorations was that the girls came over early to help! Some came over the day before Supper Club and some came a couple of hours before- it was the biggest help and made it all even more fun!

supper club girls helping decorate the fireplace

I had this vision of lighting clear balls with battery lights and hanging them inside of the fireplace to mimic the feel of a fire. The girls went right to work on it and made it look so cute and pretty. We added a furry rug in front of the fireplace so that they could sit if they wanted (remember we had not moved in all of our furniture). It was a great spot for them to take photos and to just hang out.

supper club fireplace with clear ornaments with lights and balloon garland
supper-club-fireplace with lights and ornaments

For dessert, we served winter-themed cookies. Macarons from Mac Lab were so cute! I custom-ordered snowmen faces on them, and we loved how they turned out! We also had hot chocolate to go with the cookies.

supper club winter snowman macarons

I also ordered cookies from Bambella Cookies that coordinated with the paper designs by Loralee. The cookies were so pretty and perfect that it made it hard to eat them.

supper club decorated cookies with mittens

I asked one of the girls to help me display the macarons on a plate of sprinkles, and this is how she did it- isn’t that so pretty and creative? I love the unique way that she placed them on the platter!

supper club snowman macarons in triangle
supper club snowman macarons on plates

The timeframe for each Supper Club is an hour and a half. I like to schedule them for 6:30-8:00. Occasionally we adjust that time, but it has proven to be a convenient time for most everyone. We host them as often as possible, and we typically host about 6 times during the school year.

supper club girls at dinner table

We have tried different ways of arranging the seating- sometimes the girls draw numbers and sit at the table that matches that number. One time we had place cards at each seat…that was everyone’s least favorite seating arrangement. 🙂

supper club girls at dinner table together

The photo below makes me laugh that we had a ladder in the background! We definitely didn’t let a little construction stop us from getting everyone together and having fun!

supper club girls at table 3

I like to have an activity for the girls or something unique at each Supper Club. For this first one, we had a white mug for everyone and made Sharpie mugs. The idea was to make their own hot chocolate mug to be able to keep and enjoy at home. I found most of the white mugs at Target…

supper club shelves with white mugs

I had a large supply of Sharpie Paint Pens and the girls could create their own designs. After they finished, I saved them to put in the oven and let set. I did the oven part of the activity the next day and my daughter delivered them when they were ready. I followed these directions for Sharpie Paint Pen Mugs. These girls have some impressive artistic skills…

supper club sharpie paint pen mugs

We had such a wonderful time at our first Supper Club that it became a tradition to get this group together as often as possible. I have shared more Supper Club parties that we have hosted throughout my blog. Check out the different themes and ideas- and I hope you find one that inspires you to get a group together for a meal and lots of fun!

supper club cookie decorated with a winter mitten

Cheers xo,

Lydia

supper club fondue night fun do sign
Supper Club ~ Hosting a Fondue Night

Hosting a Supper Club is always a fun way to gather friends and enjoy a meal together. My daughter and I began hosting a Supper Club together for her friends, and it has become one of our favorite activities. We have lots of ideas and themes for Supper Clubs here at The Party Wagon. This Supper Club night was especially fun with fondue as the theme!

Fondue Supper Club for winter with icicle lights and silver fondue pots
supper club fondue night fun do sign

This Supper Club was hosted in January and so we went with a wintry theme. The warmth of fondue felt like a perfect meal to enjoy on a really cold night. We hung icicle lights along the walls in the dining room and snowflake lights on the tables. The lights on the tables are battery-operated so that they can be used without needing an electrical outlet.

supper club tablesetting with fondue pots as centerpiece chaffing dishes in line

As you can see in the photos, I used paper plates on top of a charger. I knew the girls might need to be able to move their plates closer as they were dipping their fondue sticks into the cheese, and so I decided to make it easier to manage with paper plates. It added a casual feel to the dinner, which is also one of my goals when we host these get-togethers. I like for each dinner to feel special without feeling overly-formal or stuffy. Relaxed fun is what I’m going for, with a few out-of-the ordinary details thrown in to make it special.

supper club table and room decor with lights and fondue

For the color scheme, we wanted to use shades of blue to go with the wintry theme. Fondue is a Swiss creation, and so I wanted to create a snowy feel with white tablecloths. I bunched sheer fabric around the tables to mimic snow drifts. Fireside is usually where Swiss families would enjoy fondue during the winter, and so I aimed to give that effect of warmth from the glow of lights.

supper club chafing dishes as fondue pots in center of table

To add a youthful feel to the party, I used a polka dot center runner of fabric. I went with dots because I kept thinking of Swiss dot fabric, but I wanted a more visual pattern. I also think it would be so fun to use Swiss folk art designs for this theme. I couldn’t find what I needed that would arrive in time for the party, and so I stuck with what was available locally. Nordic/alpine sweaters often have blues, pinks, and greens in them, and so we added those colors in small doses with the details.

fondue dipping sticks wooden skewers with straw flags and ribbon

I asked Loralee Lewis if she would design straw flags to be used on fondue sticks. I wanted each guest to have her own set of fondue sticks, and so I added the names to the skewers with straw flags. I then bundled a set of 3 wooden skewers with a ribbon and had them ready for the girls to use with their fondue. They turned out perfectly!

supper club fondue skewers with names and ribbon

I actually loved how pretty they all looked stacked on a plate, and so I placed them on the serving table just like this. The girls enjoyed finding their bundle of skewers in place of typical utensils.

supper club stack of wooden skewers with names for fondue

It was a little hard to take photos in the dim light, but I love the glow!

supper club cheese fondue and friends

The fondue was an activity all in itself, but we added in one special activity for the girls to do before they went home for the night. Each guest was asked to randomly choose an envelope. Inside each envelope was a name of one of the girls with a message explaining to “spread kindness like confetti” by doing random acts of kindness for your secret person through the month. When we met back at Supper Club again the next month, each girl revealed their secret person with a small gift. We made a game out of it by having each girl try to guess who they thought their secret person was before the gifts were given. It was a fun way to help remind them to think of others and to remember to be kind to each other.

supper club activity throw kindness like confetti
supper club fondue night with friends
supper club fondue night with friends big

I actually didn’t get a photo of our dessert, but it was a huge hit (which is why I didn’t get photos!). They loved it! At our kitchen table and kitchen island, I plugged in electric fondue pots and melted chocolate. We served a platter full of fruits, pretzels, chips, and marshmallows. Hint: It would be such a fun idea for a Valentine’s Day party!

Supper Club Tips and Notes for Fondue

  1. Because I could not plug in as many fondue pots as needed for hosting close to 20 seated guests, I served fondue from chafing dishes. This was convenient and pretty- but please note that you must be extra careful with the flame coming into contact with anything on the table. The girls are old enough to handle the chafing dish set-up, but I still worried about it. For this reason, I recommend traditional fondue pots. I definitely would not recommend fondue for young kids without constant supervision. These girls handled it like pros, but I just want to be very transparent at the risks of using chafing dishes with table linens, crowded tables, etc. Also, if you use chafing dishes be sure to know how to extinguish Sterno flames properly (save the top of the Sterno can or use a flat, wide metal spatula to extinguish). Extinguish the flame before you pick up the dish for cleaning.
  2. When making fondue, use quality cheeses. I bought all of mine at Trader Joe’s.
  3. When melting the cheeses to serve, be sure to grate the cheese rather than chop the cheese. Grating keeps the cheese smooth. Which leads to the next tip…
  4. Toss the cheese with cornstarch to keep it from clumping together.
  5. Slowly, slowly melt the cheeses together. Add a little cheese at a time and melt it. If you pour in large amounts at a time, the cheese will stick together and be very difficult to manage.
  6. Stir the cheeses constantly when making the fondue.
  7. You can use substitute chicken broth or beer for the dry white wine that is used in the recipe.

Supper Club Fondue Recipe

1/3 cup Gruyere Cheese

1/3 cup Emmental Cheese

1/3 cup Monterey Jack Cheese (if you prefer more authentic Swiss flavor, use 1/2 cup Gruyere and 1/2 cup Emmental and omit the Jack cheese)

2 Tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup dry white wine

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce (optional)

Directions…

Grate the cheeses into a bowl and add the cornstarch. Toss to evenly coat.

In a saucepan, over low heat, simmer the wine and lemon juice.

Slowly add the cheeses (one small handful at a time) and stir constantly.

As you very slowly melt and stir the cheeses, continue to stir so that the cheese mixture will be smooth. Be patient on this step so that your cheese does not become a ball.

When cheese mixture is melted and smooth, stir in the mustard and the splash of Worcestershire Sauce.

Transfer fondue to a fondue pot and keep warm.

Prepare a platter of choices for dipping before cooking the fondue. When the cheeses are melted and ready for the fondue pot, you will be ready to eat! We served…

carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, grape tomatoes, red peppers, orange peppers, yellow peppers, black olives, snow peas, red-skin potatoes

chicken bites

Granny Smith apples

bread, pretzels

I hope you enjoy a fondue party as much as we did! I can’t wait to do it again soon!

Cheers xo,

Lydia

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